Hump Ridge TrackIntermediate
Submitted by Andre Chalmers
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Back country - remote
Native bushBeachCoastalRiversideOpen tussock/grasslandsOpen ridges/tops
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NOTE: the operators of the Hump Ridge Track have a concession from DoC and maintain the huts along the route. While it is public land and you can legally run the route in a day, the concessionaires do not actively encourage it. Please consider either an overnight stay in a hut or at least a donation towards trail maintenance. Thanks for being a responsible Wild Thing!
Most of the trail is marked but it can be easy to miss where to head next if you are not paying attention. Keep an eye out for markers and signs, there are many sections of boardwalk which make navigation easy. The trail starts out easy then changes to a coastal 4wd section for a while. Follow the coast along until you get to Flat Creek, ideally as a runner you get the hard uphill out of the way early and so go anti-clockwise - so head to the right at this point and follow the route towards Okaka Lodge, make sure to look for the markers. You will go past the Water Bridge Shelter and the Stag Point, this area is full of trees so is quite sheltered.
Once at Okaka Lodge, take the loop track for an amazing side trip, it is well sign posted. To continue on the normal trail head back along the ridgeline continuing on your anti-clockwise path, most of this is clear and the gradual descent will be good as a runner, have a snack at Luncheon Rock. Once you get back to sea level make sure you head left and towards the viaducts, the track at this point is pretty clear though often muddy, look for markers and head towards Port Craig.
Chill out at Port Craig for a bit, here there is another side track down to the beach if you are interested. Otherwise head back along the main track which is a pretty runnable and enjoyable section. Follow the coastal section around, occasionally you will go on to a beach area. Blowholes Beach is amazing. Once you get back to Flat Creek then retrace your steps to the carpark.
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Features of interest
Massive rock formations at the top of the track above Okaka Lodge are definitely the highlight of this track, the viaducts are absolutely amazing to cross over and marvel at (the Percy Burn is thought to be one of the biggest wooden viaducts in the Southern Hemisphere), major historical areas involving forestry, saw milling and tramways are still evident throughout.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 10%
Technical Single Track: 10%
Moderate Single Track: 30%
Easy Single Track: 39.5%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%
Sealed Road: .5%
Go to the Rarakau Carpark, start of the Hump Ridge track, it is signposted from the nearest town Tuatapere.
Plenty of parking available. No public transport to start.
Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the RunHunters app on your phone. View on RunHunters .
Flat creek is where the track branches make sure you know which direction you are going.
On the south section be careful not to go along the track which takes you to Waitutu Lodge, read the signage at this point.
Thermal leggings, Lightweight fleece top, Short-sleeved thermal top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.
Plenty of fresh water if needed
Track is open all year but the tramping season runs 14th November 2017 to 8th April 2018, outside of this time the hut services are limited, weather can be challenging with cold southerly wind coming directly up from Foveaux Strait.
Most of the track is where the old tramway used to go through so watch out for bolts sticking out of the old sleepers.
Footing around the tree sections can be challenging when it is a route rather than a trail, the section from Water Bridge Shelter to Okaka Lodge is especially challenging for a runner.
- Post run indulgence
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